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Dr. Ana KnollaJul 31, 2023 11:58:19 AM5 min read

How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Car Accident?

How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Car Accident?

Navigating recovery after a car accident can be daunting, especially when fitness is a key part of your lifestyle. "How long should I wait to exercise after a car accident?" is a common question we hear in our chiropractic clinic.

The answer is crucial, as rushing it could derail your healing. But being completely sedentary could be just as bad.

In this article, we'll discuss how to determine the best time to resume exercising after a car accident. If you're eager to lace up your running shoes, read on.


Key Takeaways:

  • When you can exercise after a car accident depends on the severity of your injuries.
  • Certain exercises can help you recover quicker after being in an auto accident.
  • Chiropractic care can help with exercise and accident recovery.



Table Of Contents

When Can I Exercise Again After An Accident?

Exercises That Can Help You Recover From A Car Accident

Chiropractic Care for Exercise and Accident Recovery

Recover With The Arrowhead Clinic


When Can I Exercise Again After An Accident?

After a car accident, your body undergoes a healing process requiring rest and relaxation. The extent of your injuries and your doctor's guidance determines how long you need to wait before you exercise again.

Somebody with multiple broken bones will need to wait longer than someone with minor bumps and bruises.

When the green light is given to reintroduce exercise, patience is vital. It's tempting to plunge back into your pre-accident routine, but doing so could risk re-injury, leaving you weaker and more susceptible to future harm.

Begin with small goals. Start your journey back to exercise with gentle activities such as light stretching and walking, progressing gradually to strength training or running. Pilates, yoga, and active stretching exercise routines can help your body adapt to exercise again.

Exercises involving body weight, resistance bands, or light weights are great to reintroduce strength training. To avoid putting too much strain on your body while recovering, it's best to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the amount as you build strength.

Resist the urge to 'push through' pain during this recovery phase. If you experience pain during your workout, it is important to listen to your body and stop. Pain should not be ignored as you recover because it's a signal from your body to slow down.

Recovery isn't just about reintroducing exercise; rest is equally important. Allow your body the necessary time to recuperate to ensure you can safely return to your workout regime.

Nutrition also plays a crucial role in your recovery. Avoid alcohol and processed foods, opting instead for whole, natural foods. You should also stay hydrated to speed up the healing process.

Once you're pain-free, and with approval from medical professionals, you can slowly begin to exercise at the gym or engage in physical activity. It's essential to monitor your body's reactions before and after exercise, gradually increasing the intensity of your routine.

Remember, the road to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.


Exercises That Can Help You Recover From A Car Accident

Certain rehabilitation exercises can play a crucial role in restoring your physical health after sustaining the common injuries in a car accident.

Here are some of the top activities that can aid in your recovery:


Stretching is vital during the recovery process because it warms your body and boosts blood flow. This is especially important when injuries are present so you don't worsen them. Stretching aids in regaining a normal range of motion.

However, limit your stretching in the first 72 hours post-accident to give your body ample rest and avoid stressing the injured area.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy provides extensive benefits during your recovery after an auto accident. Massaging painful areas helps alleviate discomfort by reducing muscle spasms, swelling, and stiffness.

It also stimulates tissue healing and minimizes tissue scarring by enhancing oxygen and nutrient circulation. Massage and physical therapy can also improve joint flexibility by manually stretching the tissues and skeletal muscles around the joints.

Ice and Heat

Applying ice to injuries can help reduce inflammation and temporarily numb sharp pain, acting as an analgesic. Applying heat increases blood flow to the injured area, facilitating a faster recovery by delivering more oxygen and nutrients.

If inflammation is present, opt for ice over heat to alleviate the swelling. Also, remember that excessive rest can hinder the healing process, so use this only as needed.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises can expedite recovery, improve flexibility, and reduce pain levels for car accident victims. While rest is essential, appropriate movement and exercise are just as important, if not more so.

Strengthening exercises can accelerate healing by enhancing blood circulation, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to injured areas. Strength exercises also fortify the vulnerable ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which protect other vital structures in your body.

Chiropractic Care for Exercise and Accident Recovery

Chiropractic care can be integral to your exercise regimen and accident recovery strategy. Here's how it helps:

Increased Range of Motion

Regardless of pain, chiropractic care enhances your range of motion. Stiff muscles and restricted movement can impede proper exercise. Chiropractors can expand your range of motion by relaxing your muscles and promoting improved mobility.

Strengthened Muscles and Bones

A misaligned spine puts undue pressure on your joints and muscles. Chiropractic care corrects this misalignment, relieving pressure and strengthening your muscles and bones. This helps facilitate more effective workouts.

Pain Reduction

Many seek chiropractic care for pain relief. Spinal misalignments, common after auto accidents, can cause widespread pain. Chiropractic adjustments realign your spine, reducing and relieving pain, making exercise more manageable and less daunting.

Reduced Soreness

Chiropractic care naturally relaxes muscles and soothes your body. Post-exercise or post-injury chiropractic sessions can mitigate muscle soreness, making you more comfortable during accident recovery.

Prevents Future Injury

Beyond aiding recovery, chiropractic care can help prevent future injuries. The care bolsters muscle and bone strength, improves range of motion, and relaxes muscles. A robust, flexible body with relaxed, strong muscles is less prone to injury, promoting a healthier, more productive exercise journey.


Recover With The Arrowhead Clinic

Your ability to recover from a car accident and safely resume exercising depends on the extent of your injuries and guidance from your doctor. A combination of patience, light exercises, massage therapy, ice and heat application, and chiropractic care can speed up recovery and strengthen your body.

To speed up your healing process so you can get you back to your exercise routine safely, visit the Arrowhead Clinic. Our team is ready to guide your journey back to full health and strength.



Dr. Ana Knolla

I graduated from Life University in Marietta and I've been practicing for almost 20 years. I started at Arrowhead Clinics in 2001 and have continued in either a part-time or full-time status ever since. I love working with injured patients and having the gratification of seeing them get well! I'm born and raised in North Florida/South Georgia...I've traveled extensively but always enjoy coming home to the South! I have 5 dogs...from chihuahuas to pit bulls... and 4 cats... and we all live in a farmhouse out in the country.